Townsend, Tennessee
July 7, 2009

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is sunny and very comfortable in Townsend this morning.  Our town is quiet, there is very little traffic and it looks like the week after a holiday.  OK, it is the week after a holiday.  Holidays bring people in but after it is over they are gone for a week or so.

Little River looks beautiful today.  I was down there at 8:15 am taking the temperature.  I talked to a man who I have seen out walking every morning.  He is 90 years old, lives most of the time in Alabama but spends several weeks here every year.  Evidently his house is on Dark Island because he crosses the swinging bridge on his walk every morning.  He’s a nice guy, I enjoyed talking to him.

Hugh Hartsell was here when I pulled in.  He is waiting for a client to show up for a guided trip.  Hugh has been having excellent fishing results in the Park.  It has been a great Spring and Summer for fishing and it continues to be.  There is plenty of water and it is cool. 

You can probably catch trout on a variety of flies.  I would still stick with terrestrial imitations including Green Weenies.  I would also use Yellow Sally patterns especially in the evenings.  Your best fishing will be early and late but during the day should be fine too.  Fish the shady water.  You might want to fish deep with weighted nymphs during the day. 

We have been blessed with rain this year.  For the year we have had 30.28” with normal for the period at 27.38”.  We are up almost 3” for the year.  July is starting out good.  Through yesterday we have had 1.6” in six days and normal for that period is .92”.  If this keeps going our Summer fishing is going to be excellent.  Longer range predictions call for more rain starting Sunday.  The Southeast is drought free except for parts of Louisiana.  Texas has some areas with extreme drought conditions.  California is very dry. 

We had our monthly Blount County Chamber of Commerce board meeting yesterday.  I am serving my 4th year on the board.  One of our partners is the Industrial Board.  They reported that two employers, one of them very large, are considering moving to Blount County.  Most of the people I talked to said business is slow.  We have some Chamber members who have gone out of business.

Fishing and hunting business is slow.  One reason is, a lot of people are selling their guns, boats and tackle to raise capital.  I talked to a boat manufacturer about that a couple of weeks ago.  They said a lot of people are pulling out the boats that have not been used for a while and selling them.  And, some people are selling fairly new boats, high priced guns and fly fishing tackle, not because they don’t use them but they just need the money.

Something we also have to deal with is the stolen tackle market.  People shoplift high priced rods and reels and sell them. We had two high priced fly rods stolen on the same day.  Later we found identical rods for sale online, together, without the tubes and rod socks.  I considered buying them to track down the thief.  The problem is, most rods and reels don’t have serial numbers.  So, even though we would know who stole them, we couldn’t prove they were ours.  So why don’t tackle manufacturers, especially those who make expensive rods and reels put serial numbers on them?  I’ve asked that question before.  I hit a brick wall. 

Some companies do put a serial number of their tackle.  Rod makers Winston and Scott do.  I know Able and I think Tibor have serial numbers on their tackle.  Why not the others?

A couple of years ago a local guy stole some tackle from us, from a store in North Carolina and one in Nashville.  They got him.  Paula went to the trial.  He was caught with a stolen Winston Rod and the only way he was convicted had to do with that serial number.  We have tackle in our shop now, rods that sell for nearly $800 and they don’t have a serial number on them.  If one is stolen, we will buy another one from the manufacturer to replace it.  So the only company hurt by this is us.

Walter found a Scott Rod and an Abel reel leaning against a tree on the Middle Prong.  He brought it into the shop.  Daniel called Scott Rods and got the owners name using the serial number.  He was in our computer database.  We had his phone number.  He got his outfit back.  It was a $1,000 rod and reel.  If he didn’t get it back he probably would have bought another one.  I guess that would have been good for the fishing tackle business. I don’t want to make a living off someone else’s misfortune. 

A 14 year old girl in Walland was struck by lightning night before last and lived .  She had some hair burned and a red spot or two but other than that she is fine.  Lucky girl.  Her mom saw the whole thing happen.

The Park service is going to start stocking Lynn Camp Prong with brook trout.  Steve Moore called me yesterday because he knew I wanted to write a story for the Little River Journal.  I’ll be there the first day.  They will also finish filming the Heartland Series story about Lynn Camp that day.  I’ll just be there to take pictures.  There will be several stockings this year.  A hatchery truck from Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will be used.  Since they are only stocking the actual Southern Appalachian strain, they will be captured using electroshocking machines then transported in the hatchery truck to the trailhead.  The fish will be taken up about a mile in an ATV and released. 

Well, I messed up.  I wrote the article about tying the Stealth Bomber and it went out in the Little River Journal on Saturday.  Today you can’t find anything in the store to tie Stealth Bombers with.  People bought it all.  Well, you might find some foam and larger stinger hooks but the wall is pretty much bare.  We’ll have a bunch more in soon.  I should have stocked up heavily before the article went out.  Lesson learned. 

Have a great day and thank you for being here with us.

Byron Begley
July 7, 2009


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